I write to provide an update on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and what Gander International Airport is doing to protect travellers, workers and the communities we serve.
Like all of you, the GIAA has been monitoring and following the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada to minimize the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19.
To ensure the safety of our employees, passengers, community and airport partners, we are following the principles of enhanced cleaning, personal hygiene and social distancing.
What the Airport Has Done
- The airport has introduced more robust cleaning protocols with a focus on sanitizing high-touch and high-traffic areas of its facility
- In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of cleaning efforts, we have prohibited non-essential visitors to the workspace, including our Administrative Offices, Fire Hall and the Maintenance Garage; the Public Viewing area has been closed
- Wherever possible, airport employees are working from home or offsite in a standby posture
- Employees that do remain are abiding by hygiene and social distancing policies – limiting in-person meetings, heightened sanitization of personal workspaces and a strict no sharing policy around vehicles and equipment
- We are putting in place provisions for employees deemed more vulnerable who may have pre-existing conditions, such as autoimmune or respiratory disorders
- Essential services are being maintained by our key aviation partners, such as the Canada Border Services Agency, NavCanada and CATSA
- The International Lounge and Public Viewing Area are closed to the general public
- Access to the air terminal building is being limited for transiting international aircraft
Finally, we are communicating with our key partners on important health and safety measures, as they evolve.
While passenger volumes are thinning, the airport is, and will remain open. Travellers should keep in mind that:
- Government has advised Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside the country and has closed the border to non-residents
- Anyone demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to board an aircraft destined for Canada
- Travellers returning home from international locations must self-isolate for 14 days as per provincial regulations
Flight schedule changes are a dynamic situation. Some services have been cancelled or delayed, and we expect more as travel demand continues to soften.
Many airlines are experiencing high volumes of customer outreach and are asking travellers to hold off on adjusting bookings closer to the point of departure.
For further information:
The GIAA is monitoring and responding to the evolving impacts of COVID-19 in real-time and is continuing to keep safety as its top priority. We have implemented a series of precautionary measures and policies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to our employees, tenants, the travelling public and the communities we serve.
COVID-19 is a substantial threat to public safety and particularly to aviation. We need to be prepared and vigilant, not panicked.
Follow Public Health’s advice.
If you are sick, stay home.
Scrub your hands so hard that the answers to your 10th Grade History exam become visible in your palm.
Keep a respectful distance from each other – no huddling, hugs, handshakes or high-fives.
Everyone is impacted by COVID-19. We are doing our best to manage a trying and unprecedented situation. These are trying times, but I am reassured by the dedication of our team and partners. We overcome challenges when we meet them together.
Reg Wright President and CEO